SABIC Innovative Plastics

SABIC Innovative Plastics (2)

SABIC, a global plastics industry leader, is extending its polymer portfolio for healthcare applications with the launch of two high-purity polypropylene (PP) random copolymers. Both new PP grades were developed specifically for healthcare applications, underscoring SABIC’s strong commitment to the industry. SABIC will showcase the two new grades, one for a wide range of blow moulding applications, the other for injection moulded parts, at Pharmapack 2011 in Paris on February 23 and 24 (stand 176/178).

Extrusion-blow moulding grade SABIC® PP PCGR02 exhibits good contact transparency, outstanding impact strength and excellent processability. Key target applications include bottles and ampoules. The second new resin, SABIC® PP PCGR25, features the high clarity and good antistatic properties necessary for injection moulded housings of disposable syringes. It may also be used for other parts that benefit from its excellent optical properties as well as its broad processing window. SABIC® PP PCGR25 technology provides exceptional transparency for easy viewing of syringe contents and for attractive aesthetics. It also allows the use of lower melt processing temperatures than is normally the case for conventional random copolymers. Ben Raven, SABIC PP Technical Marketing Engineer, comments: "Converters may operate with significantly shorter cycle times and achieve energy savings of up to 15%. The use of this material also supports sustainability initiatives."

Peter Tackx, SABIC Business Development Manager, Healthcare, says: "We continuously invest in new product developments to support our customers develop safe and eco-responsible products while meeting stringent healthcare regulations. SABIC® PCG PP random copolymers are the best choice when it comes to key factors such as product stability, reliability, traceability and consistency, together with security of supply."

Tackx continues: "SABIC fully understands the challenges of the healthcare industry. We provide the security of a strong logistical network capable of holding and handling a sufficient level of supplies enabling continuous availability for customers worldwide. Current developments within the healthcare industry demand a strong and responsive partner. We offer a broad network of sales offices and manufacturing sites to provide customers with local expertise and a reliable supply of our SABIC® PCG range. SABIC’s dedicated healthcare portfolio - SABIC® PCG - encompasses a wide range of polyethylene and polypropylene solutions for blow-fill-seal, blow moulding and injection moulding technologies. The range supports a broad spectrum of healthcare applications, ranging from containers, bottles, closures and bags to ampoules and connectors. SABIC® PCG grades have a Drug Master File (DMF) number and comply with the relevant monographs of the European Pharmacopoeia (EP) and the United States Pharmacopoeia (USP VI).

Increasing regulation, stronger emphasis on patient/provider safety and the shift to cost-effective alternative care delivery are among the top healthcare priorities. At MD&M West 2011, SABIC Innovative Plastics showcased specialty materials that help medical device manufacturers respond proactively to these trends. The company’s specialty compounds provide fresh approaches to regulatory compliance and the surge in wireless monitoring devices for convenient, less-expensive home and outpatient care. SABIC Innovative Plastics is firmly committed to the medical device industry and is making continuous investments in technologies that help customers meet current and future healthcare challenges.

On the regulatory front, SABIC Innovative Plastics’ LNP* Thermocomp* high specific gravity (HSG) compounds for radiation shielding address upcoming changes to the lead replacement exemption for Category 8 products under the European Union’s (EU) Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) directive. In alternative care delivery, the company’s LNP Faradex* compounds integrate protection against interference from wireless patient monitoring systems increasingly used in the home or long-term care facility.

“The healthcare industry is in a period of dramatic change due to urgent calls for quality improvements and cost reduction,” said Thomas O’Brien, Global Product Marketing Director, Healthcare, SABIC Innovative Plastics. “Medical device manufacturers are right in the middle of this process and are looking for answers from suppliers – including new ways to design and manufacture to achieve the highest quality, meet new regulatory requirements, support new care approaches and drive down costs. Our broad portfolio of specialty thermoplastic compounds helps device makers stay ahead of impending government action and meet new benchmarks for quality and safety.”

Replacing Lead with LNP Thermocomp HSG Compounds

When the RoHS directive went into effect in 2006, medical devices (Category 8) were given a temporary exemption from lead restrictions due primarily to the lack of suitable replacements. However, this exemption is expected to expire as early as 2012. Meanwhile, China is intending to mirror the EU directive in its own regulation, and may echo enforcement measures adopted by the EU.

LNP Thermocomp HSG compounds from SABIC Innovative Plastics utilize metallic fillers in a resin matrix to create HSG compounds that effectively block radiation, and avoid “hot spots” that can occur with lead shielding. LNP Thermocomp HSG compounds offer the potential for cost-effective, high-volume production, as well as greater design flexibility for new equipment configurations. Avoiding the secondary operations required with lead and gaining the freedom to consolidate multiple parts can reduce total manufacturing time, system cost and complexity. These benefits of LNP Thermocomp HSG compounds can compensate for the low cost of lead.

Shielding Wireless Monitoring Devices with LNP Faradex Compounds

Remote health monitoring has been gaining momentum for several reasons: greater involvement by patients in their own care; more timely information for physicians to guide disease management; and cost reduction through shorter inpatient stays and less-frequent office visits. However, with more wireless devices transmitting signals from the patient’s home to the doctor’s office or the hospital, interference is a growing issue.

LNP Faradex compounds utilize electrically conductive stainless steel fibers in a resin matrix to provide excellent electromagnetic interference/radio frequency interference (EMI/RFI) shielding. Compared to heavy, hard-to-design die-cast metal layers or part metallization that involves secondary operations and hazardous processes, LNP Faradex compounds offer key advantages. These include design flexibility with available custom color, avoidance of costly secondary operations, reduction in cycle times through efficient injection molding and lower weight than cast metal.

The SABIC Innovative Plastics Healthcare Advantage

SABIC Innovative Plastics offers a proactive healthcare product policy that covers more than 50 medical-grade materials and provides regulatory listings and pre-assessed biocompatibility to save manufacturers time and expense when developing a new product. SABIC Innovative Plastics offers one of the broadest portfolios of amorphous and crystalline materials for the healthcare industry. Materials included under the SABIC Innovative Plastics’ policy are covered by a United States Federal Drug Administration (FDA) Drug or Device Master File and are subject to formula lock and a stringent change management process. Complementing its portfolio and healthcare policy, the company delivers knowledge and expertise that underscore its ongoing commitment to the market. SABIC Innovative Plastics continues to invest in and expand its portfolio of high-performance products to meet the latest requirements and stay ahead of important regulatory, scientific and consumer trends.

For additional information on SABIC Innovative Plastics’ products for the healthcare sector, please go to www.sabic-ip.com

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